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Midland fatal hit-and-run suspect linked to $100,000 property theft

Deputies recovered $100,000 worth of landscaping equipment from a storage unit linked to a man who hit and killed a 12-year-old with a stolen truck in January.

PARKLAND, Wash. — A hit-and-run investigation in Pierce County led deputies to the recovery of thousands of dollars worth of stolen property.

Pierce County Sheriff's Department (PCSD) deputies found an estimated $100,000 worth of stolen items in a storage unit near Parkland on Tuesday.

The items are mainly power tools, lawnmowers and other landscaping equipment that belonged to at least five businesses.

"From the amount of property, that's not a one-time thing," said PCSD Public Information Officer Sgt. Darren Moss.

Moss said the items were recovered while deputies were investigating a hit-and-run crash that killed a 12-year-old girl and injured her friend in Midland in January.

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The driver, Terry Kohl, was arrested more than a week later and faces multiple charges, including vehicular homicide. Another suspect who gave Kohl a ride after the crash also faces charges.

Both suspects are now tied to the stolen property, according to Moss.

"For these gentlemen, it seems like a full-time job," said Moss.

A surveillance image of the truck involved in the January crash helped deputies in their case. They eventually realized the truck was stolen from a landscaping company and further investigation into Kohl's alleged theft activity led deputies to the stolen equipment in the storage unit.

While most of the equipment recovered Tuesday has been returned to their owners, Moss said some items have yet to be claimed.

"If they did report it stolen, but didn't have the serial numbers, then there's no way to verify that's their equipment," said Moss.

Moss recommended owners of such equipment should write down the serial numbers, take photos for records, or mark the items with easily identifiable information, such as initials.

Additional charges relating to the stolen property will be forwarded to the prosecutor for review, according to the PCSD.

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